Signal AI Weekly News Roundup 19 July 2019

7.19.19 / 4 min read

Musk’s Neuralink to implant medical electrodes in brains 

Educational brain toy

In a very Elon Musk move, Neuralink has announced that it has spent the last two years developing ultrafine electrodes that will be implanted into patients’ brains to treat medical conditions. Neuralink is a secretive medical-tech company, bankrolled by the technology entrepreneur.

In their announcement at the California Academy of Sciences on 16 July 2019, Neuralink presented the device capable of processing 1,500 flexible electrodes attached to a lab rat. The device – with 15 times the processing speed of current systems used in humans – would be used to treat paralysis and other medical conditions affecting the brain’s functionality.

The long-term goal is that it will allow patients to control medical assistance computers with their brains, rather than traditional eye or finger controlled computers. Neuralink has ambitious plans to run human trials within the next year and hopes that the technology will empower disabled and paralysed people.

Source: The ambitious science behind Elon Musk’s Neuralink, explained, Wired (17 July 2019).

Mahmee receives $3 million investment from Serena Williams and Mark Cuban

Pregnant woman holding petaled flowers

Data-driven infant health and new-motherhood tech company, Mahmee, plans to solve the critical gaps in pre- and post-natal care through a digital infrastructure connecting new families with the maternal health industry. With the fragmentation of the US healthcare sector, founder Melissa Hanna wanted to build a network to provide new mothers with the support they need — through the community, other mums, and medical services by linking a baby and mother’s health records.

With “one in five women suffering from postpartum depression or anxiety and about 9% of women experiencing post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following childbirth,” an initiative like Mahmee couldn’t be more needed and wanted.

Graph detailing the number of articles mentioning Mahmee and their potential reach

Graph detailing the number of articles mentioning Mahmee over the last 7 days and their potential reach, Signal AI

The tech startup, founded by entrepreneur Melissa Hanna, maternal health pioneer Linda Hanna, and CTO Sunny Walia, has received $3 million in investments from Serena Williams’ Serena Ventures and businessman Mark Cuban. This marks a milestone in a series of investments from Revolution Ventures’ Rise of the Rest Fund, Cross Culture Ventures, and Pipeline Angels, among others.

Source: Serena Williams, Mark Cuban invest $3 million in Mahmee, a digital support network for new moms, TechCrunch (5 July 2019).

Inventor of the password, Fernando “Corby” Corbató, dies

key in a hand

MIT computer scientist legend, Fernando “Corby” Corbató passed away at the age of 93 at home in Massachusetts.

Corbató, an Oakland-born researcher, was at the forefront of computer science and was vital to several pivotal advances in the space. The most notable of these being the password. He invented the password during his time working on computer time sharing.

Source: RIP Fernando “Corby” Corbató, inventor of the password (1926-2019), The Next Web (14 July 2019).

Silicon Valley investor, Peter Thiel, wants CIA and FBI to investigate Google for ‘Treasonous’ behaviour 

google sign on building

Google has been having a hard time of late, with French taxes on tech companies operating in the country imminent and fines abounding. In a further addition to their current woes, the famous Silicon Valley investor and billionaire, Peter Thiel, has demanded that the FBI and CIA investigate Google for ‘Treasonous’ behaviour.

What is this treasonous behaviour you ask? Google has spurned the U.S. government and has decided to work with the Chinese military instead. Despite a lack of evidence that Google has been “infiltrated” by Chinese intelligence, Thiel is steadfast in his determination that the company and it’s senior management should be investigated.

But at Google’s size, surely it’s water off a duck’s back?

Source: Peter Thiel Says CIA Should Investigate Google For Being ‘Treasonous’, Forbes (15 July 2019).

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